An interesting coincidence: while I am searching to find out how Australians value birds, so too is Gretchen Miller, radio producer for ABC Radio National. Gretchen has set up a project on ABC Pool “a social media space that brings together ABC professionals and audiences in an open-ended process of participation, co-creation and collaboration. It’s a place to share and talk about creative work – music, photos, videos, documentaries, interviews, animations and more.”

The project, Birdland ( calls for celebratory, thoughtful, descriptive, creative works that engage with the human/avian relationship. The most suitable written and audio works will be selected for inclusion in a radio documentary exploring birds and our sense of identity as Australians, as well as the science of diminishing bird populations.

There are some interesting posts expressing a range of attitudes towards birds including friendship (humanistic value), physical beauty (aesthetic value), release of captive bred threatened regent honeyeaters (scientific value), the right of a species to exist beyond human purposes (moralistic value), and so on. Check out some contributions by my alter ego genkigarden.

I got in touch with Gretchen last week to let her know about my research and share some thoughts about birds and since she was travelling up to the Daly for another project, we arranged to meet so she could interview me. If the interview is any good (ie. I’m not too dull for words) parts of it may be broadcast on Radio National as part of Gretchen’s Birdland radio programme, probably in about October or so. Check back later for details!

Credit goes to Dean Ingwersen from Birds Australia for his photo:

credit Dean Ingwersen_Birds Australia

Captive bred regent honeyeater being released in Chiltern from Taronga by Dean Ingwersen